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Baghdadee بغدادي

Is it possible for an Islamic state to coexist

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Quoting from another post. I thought this need to be on seperet by its own..


Many months ago I asked if democracy was compatible with Islam. The members of this forum gave knowledgeable and insightful answers and I left with a deep respect for Islam. I would like to ask for your guidance again.


I don't think democracy is the answer for Iraq because I don't think lack of democracy is the problem. The problem is dissent. More specifically, the problem is how the government and mosques handle people who question them.


Ever since the printing press, dissent has been able to spread rapidly. Rulers like Saddam responded to dissent with crushing oppression. In the west, dissent is not a problem. Quite the contrary, it is one of our greatest assets. It is through dissent that we invent new ideas and find new ways to solve old problems. It is not clean. It is not pretty. Teenagers are always offensive as they test the limits of their parents. But it works. We even have a saying that "dissent is the truest form of patriotism".


You can't expect to un-invent the printing press, telephone, radio, television, or the internet. And you can't expect for new people not to be born. So you're left with two choices. Oppression or dissent. Is there a third option?


So my question would be -

Is it possible for an Islamic state to coexist with people who openly question it? If so, how?

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Perhaps someone could answer if I gave the question more background.


Iran has a very nice constitution. Their government is democratic by design but dictator by reality. The mideast has seen democracy before but it yielded to dictators. Hitler rose to power in a democracy and then turned it into a dictator. But most troubling is the behavior of the Sadrists.


What if Al Sadr won an election? What would protect the people then?


So my tiny little brain started chipping away at this question and refined it down to [/i]"What is the difference between a working democracy and a not working democracy?"[/i] I arrived at the conclusion that in a working democracy the people are not afraid to question the government. In a working democracy the people are guaranteed that they can express their opinions and form groups without any fear. It even goes so far that they are guaranteed protection from other citizens who try to silence them. Of course, this lead to the rather un-american conclusion that it really isn't about democracy. It is about allowing people to express themselves without fear of retribution. Any leader, even Saddam, would do as the people ask if there are 8,000,000 of them at his doorstep and he is prevented from silencing or harming them.


Then the big questions came up. "Is the taboo against questioning

authority due to society or Quranic direction?" Does

the Quran allow a society where people are allowed to question

authority and gather into groups?" If so, does it say what form

this should take?


But all of this is predicated on the assumption that there are only the two options of oppression and allowing those with a different opinion to speak (dissent). Is there a third option which renders the whole line of reasoning immaterial?

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It appears to me that many Iraqis believe that the chaotic situation in Iraq isn't a negative sign and that is a very good and optimistic sign. This particular perception brings the issue of tolerance to the surface of our discussion or maybe to all discussions among Iraqis. I sincerely believe that the culture of tolerance, not just in its religious sense but in its political and social senses as well, has to be brought clearly into the scenes of the daily lives of all Iraqis including the one who still live in Iraq.


Western societies, through their liberal Democratic constitutions, proved that through critical and even provocative arguments nations can develop a sense of better identity associated with issues such as the protection of human rights and the individuals' freedom to express their views openly. An identity that is not just attached to particular dogma or land but an identify attached to the culture of tolerance and the protection of the law for everyone.


Elements of our existing culture depends heavily on the protection of closely-knit social group and not on a state that protects a liberal democratic constitution which in its turn protect all citizens..


We should start thinking along these line " fear nothing but the doubts within us" We should be as critical as we can and tolerate each other as much as we can.

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There were some different issues that might interact here, namely,


Islamic state

human rights

culture of tolerance


As for Islamic state.. I personally think that there no such real notation.. We always refer to such state when we talk about some titanic oppressing ruler who take over in name of Islam. This was the case since the death of fourth Islamic Khaleef Ali.. Islamic state in that sense is not possible in Iraq after the fall of Saddam for very simple reason. There is no unified vision of such state definition.. And the common part of such state, the absolute oppressing ruler, is not available any more . Compare to Iran's Khumainee , Shia in Iran are about 90% and the power after the fall of the Shah wasn't in the hand of people as the case in Iraq today..


Human rights .. Though the culture of Islam which is dominating in Iraq is very humaniated at least in theory, such rights as to the western standards were not experienced.. As more as people get closer to their theoretical bases as per real non politically driven Islam, as in the case of Systani school of thought, the more Iraqis will be getting into the human right era. We noticed that after the fall of Saddam, religious Shia leaders were a key part in protecting the most brutal Sadamists and security police criminals.. Alsystani issued a special Fatwa of prohibiting revenges. On the other side some of the religious figures of Saddam ministry of religion, turned over to take critical part in encouraging the killing of civilians and officials just to intimidate them from moving forward in building the new Iraq. I think we need to be careful in dealing with Islamic background of Iraqis..


Culture of tolerance. Though it might be a common understanding that Iraqis didn't show a great history of tolerance, we need to be careful here too.

Iraqi population is comprising of two main classes.. Those who are more alienated with nomad Badoans and those who experienced municipal living. The culture of Badouans is based on competition , while the others , thanks to the huge resources , were based on interaction. During the ninetieth century, more than seventy percent of today Iraqi towns were built to inhabit the Badouns of the west deserts .. The new inhabitants brought with them all of their culture of completion and non tolerance.. However , those who lived south to Baghdad were under the influence of Shia religious thought with all tolerance and mind oriented ijtihad thinking.. Their cousins who chose to go north , had the chance to keep their culture and habits for geo political reasons that is out of the scope of this post..

That might explain the different in character between Shia and Sunni today as far as tolerance goes .. That might explain why a Shia Janabee tribelman of Musaiab is very open and tolerant even to the Sadamee killer of his brothers, while his Sunni cousin just miles north, is so brutal to lead the slaughtering gangs as Shiakh Abdulah Aljanabee in Mahmodia and latifia !

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Salim. I remember your wisdom from before. (personal question) how do you know so much? What environment creates such breadth and scope of thought?


I'm not sure that I understand your last response. Are you saying that questioning authority is a learned response that naturally occurs in an environment of tolerance? Perhaps you are saying that Iraq should learn to crawl before they worry about walking? Or perhaps you are saying something completely different?


My westernized mind has been trained to think that dissent is the only effective weapon against oppression that does not result in war. My westernized thinking could be wrong. It could be that there are an infinite number of solutions and I have been taught to see only one. I try to force my mind open to any possibility, but it is not an easy task.


Bad leaders happen. There is no protection that will keep them from achieving power. But the west seems to have found a mechanism that prevents them from keeping power. It is a population that is taught to openly question authority and a social architecture that protects people when they speak. Human rights and tolerance protect people but it provides no mechanism to resist a bad leader once he is already holding power. The case of Iran illustatres that even clerics themselves are not immune.


Is there guidance in the quran of how to remove a tyrant who stands as your leader? Does the quran provide guidance as how to balance dissent versus oppression? I once read where the prophet warned against the accumulation of wealth and power into the hands of a few. Did he provide insight into what safeguards should be implemented to achieve this?

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Thanks your kind complements.. Indeed that were just a basic ideas that an average Iraqi scholar might agree on.


I was replying to the original question about the what is called an "Islamic state" issue. I was saying that religion might be a driving force for "questioning authority" issue .At least this was the case in building the American fgreat democracy. It depends on which version of Islamic teachings that we are talking about..

Islam by Quaran is very clear in prohibiting tyranny . What we are seeing with Islamic tyrants is a specific interpretations to Quaranic teachings.. Wahabee Suni Slafees and Welait Faqueh Shia's are a like in bringing the power of Allah into the hands of some political leader, call them Shiekh or Ayatollahs, no difference. The real question is what is the percentage of such fanatic group in Iraq..


Now your great point, how we assure ourselves of not having Iraq fall back in the hands of these two extremist groups, we should not rely on good wills.. The answer is as I already stated. Nature of Diversity of Iraqis and building non centric power authority .


Having Iraq of no absolute majority, either Shia or Sunni, makes it ideal for no democratically forced islamic model, as in the case of Iran.

Also, Dismantling the old strong central Army and Police, was critical in not allowing a single faction rule.. We need to be careful in the new constitution of not allowing the concentric authority build.


Dissent dimention is important, but I think it will come by nature of democratic system.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest تاجر

نقطة نظام.. عن الاسلام والديمقراطية


    أرشد توفيق  GMT 18:15:00 2005 الخميس 12 مايو 

ان تكون اسلامي الفكر والعقيدة يعني ذلك ان الشريعة الاسلامية هي المنهج والطريق فالحكم لله وكل القوانين التي تطبق على الارض يجب ان تكون من وحي ذلك دون تنازل عن شعرة منها.. الحكم لله يعني ان الفرد ليس حرا في اختيار ما يريد من نظام فالاسلام منظومة عمل كاملة تجاوزها او تحريفها او التنازل عن جزء منها هو الضلال بعينه.

الديمقراطية هي حكم الشعب وهي نظام وضعي انجزه الفكر الانساني ولم يأت بوحي او بنصوص سماوية مقدسة ومن الطبيعي ان لا يتقبله الاسلامي لان لديه حلا دينيا شرعيا لكل مسائل الحياة.

هنا يكمن التناقض رغم ان من المحرج ان يقول المرء انه لا يؤمن بالديمقراطية.. بالنسبة للمسلم الملتزم لا يعني هذا القول انه يفضل الدكتاتورية او سلطة البطش والاستبداد.. بل انه يريد ان يقول ان لديه بديلا مقدسا لا يمكن الانحراف عنه.

ويتساهل بعض الاسلاميين ليضع الاجتهاد في مصاف الديمقراطية مع ان للاجتهاد حدوده ودائرته التي لا يمكن الخروج منها. انه بمثابة الخلافات المسموح بها داخل الحزب الواحد وقد اعتدنا سماع مصطلحات الحمائم والصقور او الاجنحة المختلفة في الهيئة الواحدة.

لا علاقة البتة بين قانون السماء والقوانين التي يسنها عباد الله فكيف يكون المسلم ديمقراطيا.. كيف يمكن له ان يتقبل فكرا يتقاطع مع الدين من قريب او بعيد.. يستطيع الاسلامي ان يقول لمحاوريه انه لا يأتي بشيء من عنده وانه يدافع حتى الموت من اجل حكم الله.. وان من يختلف معه انما يختلف مع الله وهو الكفر بعينه.

اما الاخر فأنه يكتشف بسهولة ان الحوار اصلا غير وارد في هذه المسألة.. هنا تبدأ القطيعة بمعنى عدم القدرة على الحوار.

كيف نفسر اذن اعلان الكثير من الاسلاميين عن ايمانهم بالديمقراطية.. هل يعنون انهم ميالون الى الانتخابات وامكانية مشاركة الاخرين في الحكم واستعدادهم للاحتكام الى صناديق الاقتراع.. اذا كان المقصود هو ذلك فأن عليهم توضيح هذه الفكرة وتحديدها.. فهم بهذا القبول يأخذون من الديمقراطية ما ينفعهم ولا غبار على ذلك لاسيما وان هذه الطريقة هي السبيل الى الوصول الى الحكم او المشاركة فيه.

وهو لا يعني بالطبع تغييرا في المبدأ والموقف فمن حق المجموعات الاسلامية ان تحتفظ ببرنامجها الديني كسائر الاحزاب الاخرى التي تعلن عن مشاريعها.. غير ان هذه المجموعات لا تستطيع ان تكون ديمقراطية بمعنى التنازل عن عقيدتها أو تخطي مرحلة الاجتهاد الى الزلل.

ان قول بعض الاسلاميين انهم ديمقراطيون هو قول مجازي بحاجة الى توضيح وتحديد لان هناك بونا شاسعا ومتقاطعا بين التطبيقات الاسلامية في الحكم ومسألة الحرية وبين الديمقراطية كأنجاز انساني.

عندما قامت الثورة الاسلامية في ايران شن الكثير من كتاب الغرب حملة واسعة ضد نظامها الذي اعتبروه منافيا للحريات.. غير ان كتابا اخرين ومن الغرب ايضا قالوا ان الحكم في ايران يعتمد على القواعد الدينية الاسلامية ومن الخطأ ان تحاكم الامور بمنظار غربي.

لذا فبدلا من ان يتنازل الاسلامي ويغير قميصه ويستعير مصطلحات غيره عليه توضيح فكره واهم ما يجب تبيانه هو ان غير الديمقراطي ليس من انصار الاستبداد ولكنه يملك البديل والخيار الذي يعتبره الاصلح والاكمل.

وعلى هذا الاساس يمكن الدخول في حوارات خارج نقاط التقاطع الواضحة والوصول الى تعايش جزئي او مرحلي يحترم كل طرف فيه خياراته.



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Translating Realist's question


ترجمه جزء من ملاحظه "واقعي" اعلاه

في المسيحيه لدينا مفهوم  ان كل شخص لديه لحضه امتحان  يقرر فيها  الخيار بين الخطأ والصح بين ان يعمل او يصمت بين  ان  العزه الحقوق

اهميه المسيح ان الرب  قد سامحنا على كل الدنوب  عند ما تحين لحظه الامتحان

هل في الاسلام ما يماثل هدا المفهوم؟

In Christianity we have a concept where every man has moments in his life where he must choose between right and wrong. Where he must choose to act or be silent. Where he must choose between his honor and his rightousness. Where he must choose between wealth and power or not harming another person. Where he must chose between God and Satan. The significance of Jesus is that God has already forgiven us when the moment(s) of decision arrive. We carry no baggage of previous sin and we answer for only the choices we make. In our religion, fighting the internal demons and choosing the path of rightenousness and piety is the true jihad. Is there anything comprable to this in Islam?

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  • 2 weeks later...

In response to Barbara Stock (idiot women) posted by Mustefser:


We also have the example of Malcolm X:

Malcolm Little was a street punk when he was exposed to the Nation of Islam in prison.  This exposure, and the racial pride and anger that went with it, lead him to educate himself and get involved with the Nation, where he became one of the most effective spokesmen and organizers.  A confrontational proponent of racial separatism and black self-reliance, during the Civil Rights struggle, he was yin to Martin Luther King's yang (or as I read somewhere, he was the Old Testament figure, King was a figure from the New)--the constant reminder to whites that if King's nonviolent methods failed to produce results, millions of righteously resentful young black men were waiting in the wings.  But, when Malcolm X made a hadj to Mecca, he discovered that there were Moslems of all races, worshipping together peacefully, and that racism played no part in traditional Islam. - brothersjudd.com
Islam and Christianity share huge amounts of agreement. You think Jesus born of virgin but not Son of God, and went to heaven without dying rather than being crucified and Risen. (I like Jesus talking as an infant telling them to leave His mom alone). I think Muhammad got that wrong. So what!


We share a common belief in the God of Abraham; and a lot of traditions. I despise some of the secular messages given to my American 12 year old daughter; and can deeply understand the desire to not have THAT be the result of unity with the US and democracy in Iraq. It is nonsensical to me that Islam and Christianity - even while both exclusivist religions - cannot find a way to share our common philosophical bases.


And it is the commonality of philosophical base that gives me hope that God can lead you to establish democracy in Iraq that works with Islam. And if you folks can find a way to democracy without abortion, pornography, and the secular denigration of faith as the basis of a person's life without resorting to theocracy then you have accomplished a huge thing.

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